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Communicating sensor data between electronic devices

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Title: Communicating sensor data between electronic devices.
Abstract: Sensor data is communicated between two electronic devices under control of the receiving device. For example, one device is equipped with one or more sensors that can produce a stream of real-time readings. The other device can request the sensor data from the first device and can also specify to the first device one or more throttling criteria to control or limit the amount of sensor data that is sent. Each throttling criterion can specify both a category of criterion (e.g., time-based, value-based, etc.) and a throttling parameter specific to the category. The first device can monitor the sensor data to determine when a throttling criterion specified by the second device is satisfied; when the throttling criterion is satisfied, the first device can send the current sensor reading as sensor data to the second device. ...


Apple Inc. - Browse recent Apple patents - Cupertino, CA, US
Inventors: Sylvain R.Y. Louboutin, Robert J. Walsh, Shyam S. Toprani
USPTO Applicaton #: #20120083911 - Class: 700 94 (USPTO) - 04/05/12 - Class 700 
Data Processing: Generic Control Systems Or Specific Applications > Specific Application, Apparatus Or Process >Digital Audio Data Processing System

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120083911, Communicating sensor data between electronic devices.

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CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/388,465, filed Sep. 30, 2010, entitled “Communicating Sensor Data Between Electronic Devices,” the disclosure of which is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

BACKGROUND

The present disclosure relates in general to communication between electronic devices and in particular to communicating sensor data between two electronic devices, such as a computing device and an accessory.

Mobile computing devices, including smart phones, personal digital assistants, and tablet computers, are rapidly becoming ubiquitous. Such devices often include sensors that provide information about the device or its surroundings, such as ambient light sensors, proximity sensors, accelerometers, magnetometers, and so on. These sensors can produce a continuous stream of data, which is typically sampled by a processor within the device and used in various ways. For example, data from an ambient light sensor can be used to automatically brighten or dim the device\'s display. Accelerometer data can be used to automatically rotate the display based on which edge is currently pointed up. Magnetometer data can be used to infer orientation of the device (e.g., a compass direction), and this information can be used in navigation or other applications.

Some mobile computing devices can also communicate with “accessory” devices, such as speakers and/or video systems that can receive video content from the mobile computing device, remote control devices, and the like. The mobile computing device can, for example, stream media content (e.g., audio and/or video) to the accessory or receive control signals from the accessory to control playback, communication, or other operations.

SUMMARY

Certain embodiments of the present invention provide techniques for communicating sensor data between two electronic devices, e.g., a mobile computing device (MCD) or other computing device and an accessory. In these embodiments, a first one of the devices (e.g., the MCD) can be equipped with one or more sensors (e.g., light sensor, proximity sensor, accelerometer) that can produce a stream of real-time readings. This sensor data may be of use in the operation of the second device (e.g., the accessory). The second device can request the sensor data from the first device and can also specify to the first device a throttling criterion to control or limit the amount of sensor data that is sent. The throttling criterion can specify both a “throttling category” (i.e., a type of condition to consider, such as time elapsed, magnitude of change in the reading, threshold conditions, or rate of change conditions) and a “throttling parameter” specific to the category (e.g., a specific time interval in the case of a time-based category, a specific magnitude in the case of a magnitude-based category, and so on). The first device can receive the request and the throttling criterion and initiate a process that monitors the sensor data to determine when the throttling criterion is satisfied; when the throttling criterion is satisfied, the first device can send the current sensor reading as sensor data to the second device.

The following detailed description together with the accompanying drawings will provide a better understanding of the nature and advantages of the present invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front view of a mobile computing device connected to an accessory according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIGS. 2-5 are graphs of a sensor reading as a function of time for a sensor, illustrating categories of throttling criteria according to various embodiments of the present invention. In FIG. 2, the throttling category is based on a time interval. In FIG. 3, the throttling category is based on a change in the sensor data. In FIG. 4, the throttling category is based on a threshold applied to the sensor data. In FIG. 5, the throttling category is based on a rate of change of the sensor data.

FIG. 6 is a simplified block diagram of a system including a mobile computing device and an accessory according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 7 is a table illustrating commands that can be used to communicate sensor data from a mobile computing device to an accessory according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 8 is a flow diagram of a process that can be used by a mobile computing device to send sensor data to an accessory according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 9 is a flow diagram of a process that can be used by an accessory to obtain sensor data from a mobile computing device according to an embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Certain embodiments of the present invention provide techniques for communicating sensor data between two electronic devices, e.g., a mobile computing device (MCD) or other computing device and an accessory. In these embodiments, a first one of the devices (e.g., the MCD) can be equipped with one or more sensors (e.g., light sensor, proximity sensor, accelerometer) that can produce a stream of real-time readings. This sensor data may be of use in the operation of the second device (e.g., the accessory). The second device can request the sensor data from the first device and can also specify to the first device a throttling criterion to control or limit the amount of sensor data that is sent. The throttling criterion can specify both a “throttling category” (i.e., a type of condition to consider, such as time elapsed, magnitude of change in the reading, threshold conditions, or rate of change conditions) and a “throttling parameter” specific to the category (e.g., a specific time interval in the case of a time-based category, a specific magnitude in the case of a magnitude-based category, and so on). The first device can receive the request and the throttling criterion and initiate a process that monitors the sensor data to determine when the throttling criterion is satisfied; when the throttling criterion is satisfied, the first device can send the current sensor reading as sensor data to the second device.

The example embodiments described below relate to a configuration in which a sensor is present in an MCD and the accessory requests sensor data; however, it is to be understood that the roles of the devices can be reversed, with a sensor being present in the accessory and sensor data being requested by the MCD, and that the techniques described herein can be applied equally to both situations. Further, while the example embodiments described below make specific reference to a mobile computing device, it is to be understood that other types of computing devices can be substituted and that embodiments of the present invention can be applied in connection with providing sensor data between any two electronic devices.

FIG. 1 is a front view of a mobile computing device (MCD) 100 connected to an accessory 120 according to an embodiment of the present invention. MCD 100 can have a touchscreen display 102 surrounded by bezel 104. Control buttons 106 provided in bezel 104 can be used, e.g., to wake MCD 100 from a hibernation state, to put MCD 100 into a hibernation state, or the like.

MCD 100 can have a connector 108 recessed into a bottom surface thereof, allowing MCD 100 to dock with an accessory device. Connector 108 can include a number of pins for carrying power, analog, and digital signals between MCD 100 and a connected accessory. In one embodiment, connector 108 can be implemented as a 30-pin docking connector as used in existing iPod® and iPhone® products sold by Apple Inc., assignee of the present application; in this embodiment, connector 108 is recessed into the housing of MCD 100 and is referred to as a “receptacle” connector. Other connectors can also be used.

MCD 100 can also have a wireless network interface, indicated by antenna 112, permitting access to a voice and/or data network. While antenna 112 is shown as external, it is to be understood that antenna 112 can be built into the housing of MCD 100. Any type of network access can be supported, and MCD 100 can provide wired network interfaces (e.g., Ethernet) in addition to or instead of a wireless interface.

MCD 100 can also have various sensors that respond to changes in conditions related to MCD 100. In some embodiments, an external sensor 114 can detect an external condition around MCD 100 and generate a signal indicative of the condition. Examples include an ambient light sensor that detects a light level around MCD 100 and generates a light-level signal, a proximity sensor that detects distance between a surface of MCD 100 and another surface and generates a proximity signal, a temperature sensor, a pressure sensor, a sound sensor (e.g., a microphone) or the like. In some embodiments, an internal sensor 116 can detect conditions within MCD 100 itself. Examples include an accelerometer and/or gyroscope that detects movement of MCD 100 and generates signals indicating direction of movement and/or orientation of MCD 100, a magnetometer that detects orientation of MCD 100 in a magnetic field (e.g., Earth\'s magnetic field, providing a compass) and generates corresponding signals, or the like. It is to be understood that any number and combination of sensors can be provided.

In the embodiment shown, MCD 100 can be a tablet computer with, e.g., a 10-inch screen. In other embodiments, MCD 100 can have a variety of form factors and configurations, e.g., smart phone, personal digital assistant, media player, portable web browser, etc.

Accessory 120 can be any accessory capable of interoperating with MCD 100. In the example shown, accessory 120 is a video dock that provides a display screen 122 and speakers 124. Accessory 120 can connect to MCD 100 via a cable 126. Cable 126 terminates in a connector 128 that mates with connector 108 of MCD 100. Cable 126 can incorporate various signal lines to provide transmission of control signals, audio signals, video signals, power and the like between MCD 100 and accessory 120. Thus, for example, MCD 100 can generate analog or digital video signals (including images and audio) and transmit the signals to accessory 120 via cable 126. In other embodiments, the connection can be wireless, e.g., using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth or the like. In some embodiments, accessory 120 may include a control panel (not shown) or remote control (also not shown) and can send control signals to MCD 100 in response to operation of the controls. Thus, a user can control operations of MCD 100 by interacting with accessory 120.

Accessory 120 can have any form factor desired. For example, a video dock may provide a significantly larger screen than MCD 100, allowing several users to watch a movie or the like together. In some embodiments, multiple accessories can be connected to MCD 100 at a given time. For example, while accessory 120 is connected via cable 126, another accessory can be connected wirelessly, or multiple accessories can be connected wirelessly to MCD 100, or MCD 100 can have multiple ports for wired connections; other configurations are also possible.

In some embodiments, it is desirable for accessory 120 to make use of sensor data collected by external sensor 114 and/or internal sensor 116 of MCD 100. As an example, it may be desirable to adjust the brightness of display 122 based on the ambient light level, in which case it would be desirable to provide information about the ambient light level to accessory 120; assuming external sensor 114 includes an ambient light sensor, accessory 120 can make use of the ambient light sensor data. As another example, accessory 120 may be capable of executing a program such as a navigation program that can benefit from having information as to the orientation (e.g., compass direction) in which it is currently pointed; assuming internal sensor 116 includes a magnetometer, accessory 120 can make use of the magnetometer data. The ability of accessory 120 to obtain sensor data from MCD 100 can, for example, reduce the cost of manufacturing accessory 120 (e.g., by eliminating the need to provide similar sensors in accessory 120) or provide more consistent behavior across different accessories interoperating with the same MCD.

In addition, even in cases where accessory 120 has its own sensors, it may still be useful for accessory 120 to obtain sensor data from MCD 100. For example, accessory 120 and MCD 100 can be in different places (cable 126 can be quite long, or wireless connections can be used) and thus experiencing different environmental conditions. Accessory 120 may be interested in the environmental conditions of MCD 100 (or vice versa).

Accordingly, in some embodiments of the present invention, the signals exchanged between MCD 100 and accessory 120 can include sensor data originating from any sensor of MCD 100 including external sensor 114 and internal sensor 116. In some embodiments, a sensor can provide updated data to MCD 100 on a substantially continuous basis (e.g., the interval between updates can be on the order of microseconds or shorter). However, providing sensor data updates to accessory 120 on a substantially continuous basis is not always necessary or desirable. For example, in some embodiments, frequent sensor data updates can consume a significant fraction (possibly even all) of the available bandwidth in a communication channel between MCD 100 and accessory 120, which can limit or slow (or block) other communication in that channel. In addition, in some embodiments, accessory 120 may have limited processing capability as compared to MCD 100, so even if the channel has sufficient bandwidth to transmit all the sensor data, accessory 120 might not have enough processing capability to process all of the data. Even if the communication channel has sufficient bandwidth and accessory 120 sufficient processing capability, accessory 120 might not need all of the sensor data in order to operate as desired, so that transmitting all the data, while possible, would be wasteful.

As these examples illustrate, rather than transmitting all available sensor data, it may be desirable to transmit only data that will actually be used by accessory 120, which may be a fraction of the data or data indicative of the occurrence of a particular event or change in condition.

Some embodiments of the present invention can provide a flexible framework for an accessory to obtain useful (i.e., actually or potentially useful to the accessory) sensor data from an MCD without receiving all sensor data. In some embodiments, accessory 120 can limit, or throttle, the rate at which MCD 100 sends sensor data by specifying a throttling criterion to be applied by MCD 100. The throttling criterion can include both a category, or type of condition to monitor, and a specific parameter value, e.g., a threshold, associated with the category. An accessory can select among a number of supported categories including time-based categories, value-based categories, rate-of-change based categories, and the like. By choosing appropriate throttling criteria based on its particular needs, accessory 120 can control the amount of sensor data received while ensuring that relevant data is received.

Examples of throttling categories and associated parameters are illustrated in FIGS. 2-5, which show graphs of a sensor reading (line 200) as a function of time for a sensor. For example, in the embodiment of FIG. 1, external sensor 114 can be an ambient light sensor, and the pattern of sensor readings indicated by line 200 might occur, e.g., if MCD 100 is used outdoors on a partly cloudy day. Also indicated (by circles) are sensor readings that can be sent to an accessory in response to satisfaction of various throttling criteria according to embodiments of the present invention. In each of these examples, the same pattern of sensor readings is shown as curve 200, illustrating that different throttling criteria can have different effects on the number and timing of sensor updates sent to an accessory.

FIG. 2 illustrates an embodiment where the accessory specifies a throttling category indicating that sensor data should be sent at regular time intervals and a throttling parameter defining the particular interval, e.g., every t2 microseconds. (The time interval is indicated in FIG. 2 by vertical broken lines.) The sensor readings that are reported to the accessory and the times at which these readings are reported are indicated by circles 201-210. Sending data at regular intervals is an example of a time-based throttling category. In some embodiments, the interval t2 can be specified by the accessory as a throttling parameter specific to the “regular time intervals” throttling category.

FIG. 3 illustrates an embodiment where the accessory specifies a throttling category indicating that sensor data should be sent when the data value changes by a specific magnitude and a throttling parameter defining the magnitude, e.g., d3 units. (The magnitude of change in data value is indicated in FIG. 3 by horizontal broken lines.) The sensor readings that are reported to the accessory and the times at which these readings are reported are indicated by circles 301-304. In this example, an initial reading (circle 301) is reported to provide a baseline. Subsequent sensor readings are not reported at regular time intervals; instead, they are reported whenever the sensor reading changes (upward or downward) by d3 units relative to the previous reported reading. (The broken horizontal lines indicate the sensor readings at which a report would be triggered at any given time.) Thus, for example, reported readings 301-303 are much closer in time to each other than to reading 304. This is an example of a value-based throttling category. In some embodiments, the interval d3 can be specified by the accessory as a throttling parameter specific to the “magnitude of change” throttling category.

FIG. 4 illustrates an embodiment where the accessory specifies a throttling category indicating that sensor data should be sent when the data value crosses a threshold and two throttling parameters defining thresholds, rup and rdn. In this example, sensor readings are sent at an initial time (circle 401) and thereafter only when the sensor reading crosses threshold rup in an increasing direction (e.g., at circle 402) or threshold rdn, in a decreasing direction (e.g., at circle 403). In this example, once one threshold is crossed in the applicable direction and a report is sent, no further report is sent until the other threshold is crossed; thus, for example, the repeated crossings of the rup threshold in FIG. 4 do not trigger additional readings. This rule creates a hysteresis effect that can further reduce the amount of sensor data that is sent. The embodiment of FIG. 4 is another example of a value-based throttling category, in this case based on threshold crossing. While the example shows different thresholds applying to upward and downward transitions, in some embodiments a single threshold can be used for transitions in both directions. In some embodiments, the thresholds rup and rdn, can be specified by the accessory as throttling parameters specific to the “threshold crossing” throttling category.

FIG. 5 illustrates an embodiment where the accessory specifies a throttling category indicating that sensor data should be sent when the average rate of change in the sensor data during some time interval exceeds a minimum value. The time interval and/or the minimum value can be specified as throttling parameters. In the example shown, the time interval is t5 (intervals are marked by broken lines in FIG. 5). The sensor reading is sampled every t5 seconds; it is to be understood that t5 can be orders of magnitude less than 1, and the sampling rate can be on the order of milliseconds or microseconds. For each time interval, a slope, or average rate of change, can be calculated as m=(rf−ri)/t5, where ri and rf are, respectively, the initial and final sensor readings in the interval. The final reading rf is reported to the accessory if |m| (absolute value of the slope m) exceeds a threshold m5. Dotted line 510 illustrates the slopes between initial and final readings in each time interval; line 510 has been offset from line 200 for clarity without affecting the slopes. Thus, as indicated by circles 501-505, sensor data is more likely to be sent during periods of rapid change (e.g., the time between circles 501 and 503) but not while the sensor reading is relatively stable as in the time between circles 503 and 504. In this example, the threshold m5 is based on |m|, so the same threshold applies for both increasing and decreasing slope; in other embodiments, thresholds for increasing and decreasing slope can be specified independently. In some embodiments, the threshold m5 and/or time interval t5 can be specified by the accessory as parameters specific to the “rate of change” category. (In some embodiments, t5 can be determined by the MCD, e.g., based on how frequently it polls a particular sensor.) Those skilled in the art will appreciate that where t5 is constant, a threshold can be specified on the difference rf−ri rather than on the slope, with the same result.

It will be appreciated that the throttling categories described herein are illustrative and that variations and modifications are possible. Throttling categories can be based on regular time intervals, the magnitude or change in magnitude of the sensor reading, or combinations thereof (e.g., rate of change). In the case of throttling criteria based on changes in sensor readings during a fixed time interval, the change can be measured within overlapping or nonoverlapping time intervals as desired. More complex throttling criteria can be used by combining criteria from different categories. For example, in the case of throttling criteria based on magnitude or rate of change of sensor data (e.g., as shown in FIGS. 3-5), the time between sensor updates can become quite large. In some embodiments, an accessory can specify that an update should be sent if either the magnitude or rate of change meets a particular criterion or the time since the last update exceeds a threshold. Using a maximum-time criterion in combination with another throttling criterion can provide a heartbeat-type indication to the accessory that the MCD is continuing to monitor and communicate sensor data while also providing information about significant (from the accessory\'s perspective) changes as they happen.

In some embodiments, a throttling criterion can be based on readings of multiple sensors. For example, the criterion can be based on comparing readings from two (or more) similar sensors (e.g., a gyroscope and an accelerometer, both of which can measure rotation). In some embodiments, data is sent if the difference between the two sensor readings exceeds a threshold. In other embodiments data is sent if the difference is less than a threshold, or if the difference is zero (within applicable tolerances). As another example, a criterion can be based on a conjunction of readings from different sensors, e.g., whether each of two (or more) sensors is above some threshold, below some threshold, changing rapidly, etc. As yet another example, a throttling criterion based on one sensor can be used to control when data from another sensor is sent. For example, both accelerometer and gyroscope data can be sent when the accelerometer data changes by a minimum amount.

The throttling criteria described above can be applied to various types of sensor data that can be provided by one device to another. While the examples are described in terms of an MCD sending data based on throttling criteria specified by an accessory, it will be recognized that similar techniques can be applied to allow an accessory to send sensor data based on throttling criteria specified by an MCD or more generally to allow a first electronic device to send sensor data based on throttling criteria specified by a second electronic device.

Throttling criteria can be applied to raw sensor data (i.e., data received by the MCD) or to sensor data after processing by the MCD. For example, in the case of an MCD with GPS capability, the MCD can include a GPS sensor that receives signals from various orbiting satellites and a processor (e.g., a dedicated GPS signal processor or code executed in a primary processor) that computes a location (e.g., latitude and longitude) based on the received signals. In some embodiments, throttling of GPS data can be based on a change in the computed location rather than directly on changes in the received signals. Thus, for example, GPS sensor notifications can be throttled based on whether the location has changed by some desired distance (e.g., 50 feet or 50 miles), rather than based on changes in received satellite signals.

FIG. 6 is a simplified block diagram of a system 600 including MCD 602 and accessory 604 according to an embodiment of the present invention. In this embodiment, MCD 602 (e.g., implementing MCD 100 of FIG. 1) can provide computing, communication and/or media playback capability. MCD 602 can include sensors 606, processor 610, storage device 612, user interface 614, network interface 618, and accessory input/output (I/O) interface 620. MCD 602 can also include other components (not explicitly shown) to provide various enhanced capabilities.

Sensors 606 can include various electronic, mechanical, electromechanical, optical, or other devices that provide information related to external conditions around MCD 602. Shown by way of example are an ambient light sensor 622, a proximity sensor 624, an accelerometer 626, a magnetometer 628, a temperature sensor 630, a gyroscope 632, and a sound sensor 634. Ambient light sensor 622 can sense an ambient light level; for example, sensor 622 can include a photosensitive element on the housing of MCD 602 and associated electronics to convert sensed light to an analog or digital electrical signal. Proximity sensor 624 can sense distance between a surface of MCD 602 and another object; for example, sensor 624 can include an electromagnetic emitter (e.g., infrared) and detectors and signal analyzers for the return signal and/or a capacitive sensor, along with associated electronics to produce an analog or digital electrical signal corresponding to the nearness of the object.

Accelerometer 626 can sense acceleration (relative to freefall) along one or more axes, e.g., using piezoelectric or other components in conjunction with associated electronics to produce a signal. Magnetometer 628 can sense an ambient magnetic field (e.g., Earth\'s magnetic field) and generate a corresponding electrical signal. Sensors 606 in some embodiments can provide digital signals to processor 610, e.g., on a streaming basis or in response to polling by processor 610 as desired. Temperature sensor 630 can sense a temperature, either internal or external to MCD 602; thermocouples, thermistors, semiconductor temperature sensors, radiative sensors, or the like can be used. Gyroscope 632 can sense rotational motion in one or more directions, e.g., using one or more MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems) gyroscopes and related control and sensing circuitry. Sound sensor 634 can be, e.g., a microphone with associated electronics that can determine, e.g., a decibel level.

Other sensors can also be included in addition to or instead of these examples. For example, MCD 602 can include a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver that determines location based on signals received from GPS satellites. A particular sensor, combination of sensors, or sensor implementation is not critical to the present invention, and conventional sensors can be used.

Storage device 612 can be implemented, e.g., using disk, flash memory, or any other non-volatile storage medium. In some embodiments, storage device 612 can store media assets such as audio, video, still images, or the like, that can be played by MCD 602. Storage device 612 can also store other information such as a user\'s contacts (names, addresses, phone numbers, etc.); scheduled appointments and events; notes; and/or other personal information. In some embodiments, storage device 612 can store one or more application programs to be executed by processor 610 (e.g., video game programs, personal information management programs, media playback programs, etc.).

User interface 614 can include input devices such as a touch pad, touch screen, scroll wheel, click wheel, dial, button, switch, keypad, microphone, or the like, as well as output devices such as a video screen, indicator lights, speakers, headphone jacks, or the like, together with supporting electronics (e.g., digital-to-analog or analog-to-digital converters, signal processors, or the like). A user can operate input devices of user interface 614 to invoke the functionality of MCD 602 and can view and/or hear output from MCD 602 via output devices of user interface 614.

Processor 610, which can be implemented as one or more integrated circuits (e.g., a conventional microprocessor or microcontroller), can control the operation of MCD 602. In various embodiments, processor 604 can execute a variety of programs in response to program code and can maintain multiple concurrently executing programs or processes. At any given time, some or all of the program code to be executed can be resident in processor 610 and/or in storage media such as storage device 612.

Through suitable programming, processor 610 can provide various functionality for MCD 602. For example, in response to user input signals provided by user interface 614, processor 610 can operate a database engine to navigate a database of media assets stored in storage device 612 in response to user input and display lists of selected assets. Processor 610 can respond to user selection of an asset (or assets) to be played by transferring asset information to a playback engine also operated by processor 610, thus allowing media content to be played. Processor 610 can also operate other programs to control other functions of MCD 602. In some embodiments, processor 610 can execute a program to control obtaining of sensor data from sensors 606 and delivery of sensor data to a connected accessory 604. Such a program can implement throttling behavior as described herein.

Network interface 618 can provide voice and/or data communication capability for MCD 602. In some embodiments network interface 618 can include radio frequency (RF) transceiver components for accessing wireless voice and/or data networks (e.g., using cellular telephone technology, advanced data network technology such as 3G, 4G, EDGE, Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11 family standards), or other mobile communication technologies, or any combination thereof), GPS receiver components, and/or other components. In some embodiments network interface 618 can provide wired network connectivity (e.g., Ethernet) in addition to or instead of a wireless interface. Network interface 618 can be implemented using a combination of hardware (e.g., antennas, modulators/demodulators, encoders/decoders, and other analog and/or digital signal processing circuits) and software components.

Accessory I/O interface 620 can allow MCD 602 to communicate with various accessories. For example, accessory I/O interface 620 can support connections to a computer, an external speaker or media playback station (e.g., video dock accessory 120 of FIG. 1), a digital camera, a radio tuner (e.g., FM, AM and/or satellite), an in-vehicle entertainment system, an external video device, card reader, disc reader, or the like.



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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20120083911 A1
Publish Date
04/05/2012
Document #
12967917
File Date
12/14/2010
USPTO Class
700 94
Other USPTO Classes
455 412
International Class
/
Drawings
7



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